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Election Law Co-Chair Michael Toner Comments on Increased Influence of Super PACs in 2012

ABC News
December 2, 2011

Election Law & Government Ethics Practice co-chair Michael Toner was quoted in an ABC News article focusing on Super PACs being a leading contributor to the spiraling cost of presidential campaigns.

"Super PACs are a different animal," said Mr. Toner, the former chairman of the Federal Elections Commission. "They have really come onto the scene in the last year or so and are really going to ramp up in the 2012 election."

The article reports that Super PACs operate differently than traditional political action committees and can collect an unlimited amount of money from any source. The catch is that they are barred from coordinating with a campaign, though they can advocate for a candidate. Super PACs spent more than $65 million in last year's midterm elections and that number is expected to skyrocket for the 2012 election.

"In many ways 2010 was a trial run for Super PACs, a warm-up election for this kind of activity," Mr. Toner said. "In 2012 we are going to see the full flowering of Super PAC spending."